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Platform International Animation Festival: Best of World Student Animation: Highlights of Annecy 2012

by on November 12, 2012

October 26, LOS ANGELES, CA—As part of Platform’s International Animation Festival, a selection of films animated by students was screened.  Picked straight from this year’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival, these are the best animated student films the world has to offer.  Animation is such a diverse medium full of possibility that anything can happen, especially from directors that come from all around the world.  The films ranged from funny to heartfelt to  bizarre, but the one thing they had in common was the fact that they were all imaginative in storytelling and visuals.

Erik Alunurm, Mihkel Reha, and Mari Liis Rbane’s Breakfast in the Grass (Eine Murul) spoofs Edouard Manet’s painting Le déjeuner sur l’herbe by having a group of people falling down drunk until they strike the famous poses of the painting in the end.  It was a funny idea and a great way to blend art and animation.

In Swarming (Kuhina) by Joni Mannisto, a child smashes some bugs only to be infested by bugs himself.  It’s pretty gruesome, but the visuals surrounding the various insects and the way they crawl over the child is imaginative and stunning.

366 Days (366 Tage) directed by Johannes Friedrich Schiesl tells the story of a paramedic and his quest to connect with the people he helps and the ultimate tool he uses to cope with loneliness and loss.  It’s a very touching story that manages to have spots of humor and optimism as well.

Not About Us by Michael Frei is a film all about contrasts involving light and shadow.  While there isn’t a lot of detail in the characters or setting, the animation is fluid and the parallels are interesting.

In Eamonn O’Neill’s I’m Fine Thanks, a man’s inner anger, while hidden from others, is expressed in his outward appearance.  While his growing psychosis is unsettling to the viewer, the style of the animation works well with the film’s subject matter.

Lonely Dogs by Remi Bastie, Nicolas Deghani, Jonathan Djob-Nkondo, Paul Lacolley, Nicolas Pegon, Jeremy Pires, and Kevin Manach is about workers on an oil rig and one man’s battle with alcoholism and depression.  The detail put into the rig itself is beautiful, but when one of the workers becomes increasingly unbalanced, the visual surprises heighten his loss of sanity.

In Happy Life by Zin Sun and Yun Li, a boy gives birth to several egg creatures and, afraid of what’s happening, dumps them off in the woods.  It’s a little creepy at first, but the creatures are cute and the ending is a lot of fun.

Le Taxidermiste by Paulin Cointot, Dorianne Fibleuil, Antoine Robert, and Maud Sertour tells the story of a taxidermist’s funeral.  The scenery is gorgeous, filled with life-like animals frozen in vicious poses in every scene.

Space Stallions by Thorvaldur Gunarsson, Arna Diefo, Esben Jespersen, Agust Freyr Kristonsson, Jonathan Brusch, Polina Bokhan, and Touraj Khosravi is a throwback to cartoon introductions from the 1980’s.  Inspired by animated shows such as Silver Hawks and Thundercats, the short is composed of a “Previously On” segment and a theme song.  It’s done so perfectly it looks like it could’ve been a real Saturday morning cartoon series.

The Making of Long Bird by Will Anderson, which won the Best Graduation Film award at Annecy, is part animation and part live action.  A director animates a cartoon bird and struggles to make a good film out of him, interacting with the bird the entire time.  While it has several laugh out loud moments, it’s a smart commentary on the process of animation and storytelling itself.

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